CHANGE is neither a three nor a four letter word

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Change is an amazingly powerful and often times emotionally-charged word. Change can be a word that seems like such a great idea when directed toward someone else; i.e. how “they” can change in a way that will make your life better. At the other end of the spectrum, the word “change” can trigger fear and resistance in a split-second if someone says you need to do it. Or, it can be embraced and welcomed by choosing to move forward with an attitude of gratitude and appreciation for the opportunities change can bring to the quality of your life.

My whole life, I have been presented to a single element called change. Change occurs in many different forms and is carried out in many different ways. However, just recently, I have come to the realization that change can be the deepest of all subjects. I always assumed that change occurred when you moved to a new town or when you lost someone close to you. Those are elements to change, yes, but change doesn’t have to occur over a single dramatic event. It can just happen overnight when your brain determines it’s time to do something different.

For obvious reasons, people reject change. Especially people who are close to each other because they feel that this change is going to separate them and make them not as close as they used to be. They fight change until they force the person to change. It’s sad how this works, but in reality, it’s probably the single most reason why people change. The people we love, love us so much that they want us to remain the way we are forever. Forever is a long time and not one person can always stay the same. Sometimes if the people we love would just accept the change and go with it, they would understand where the change was originally coming from.

It’s dangerous to try to stop change and argue against it, especially if the person wants to change so much. The reason that somebody wants to change is usually not their choice, but a feeling that the person feels inside their head and heart. It’s almost like a celestial force is making you change and you have no say in the matter but you know you have to because your mental and physical attributes are commanding you to. Maybe the change isn’t the best change, but if you dig deeper, the person that you love and know isn’t really changing, they are just trying to find themselves and the one thing they need the most is the support of the people who they care about the most. When the people they care about the most dismiss their change as something unimportant and try to guard down everything by rules and regulations, the person they loved begins to change out of sadness that the one group of people he or she thought would understand, really has no clue. Maybe change isn’t always good or bad, as I was implying here earlier, but it could be looked at as something to help you grow. So just remember, if someone is changing, be there for them, offer your opinion but help them go through whatever they need to go through because they will do what they need to do regardless of the people that they really do love.

Daily dose of “G”

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When I was younger, I believed one should feel grateful in order to give thanks. To do anything else seemed somehow dishonest or fake — a kind of “preposterously ridiculous” insincerity that one should reject. Considering the fact that we are in a universe that seemed to hurt for no reason and living in a world where children die of hunger every day, it just doesn’t make sense. When it comes to being grateful and thankful, it’s best to be emotionally authentic, right? Wrong. Building the best life does not require fealty to feelings in the name of authenticity, but rather rebelling against negative impulses and acting right even when we don’t feel like it. In a nutshell, acting grateful can actually make you grateful.

Being grateful is a choice. Some make the mistake of waiting to feel grateful rather than choosing to be grateful. Today, you are alive. You have the opportunity to enjoy your abundance, right your wrongs, cling to your hopes, rekindle your dreams or re-live your passions. You and me, we are alive and so be grateful we must and truly live.

The gift of life is the best gift we’re given every single day.

The tragedy of success.

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WHEN SUCCESS KILLS SUBSTANCE

No matter what goals or aspirations you might have, there is one thing certain: There is a price you must pay to get what you want in life. In fact, there is no sidestepping the fact that any type of success demands something from you. It’s simply the way life works. As it is often said: you will not gain something for nothing.

As you make progress along your journey towards your desired outcomes, your pursuits will demand that you make difficult choices about what you will do and about what you won’t do. The goals and objectives you have in mind will not magically manifest in your life. You will need to work hard and potentially make some drastic sacrifices along the way.

I must say that anything you want in your life is essentially unattainable. It’s unattainable if you do not give something up in order to get something back. Giving something up could come in the form of your time, energy, money, relationship or worst, your personal being. You might need to sacrifice one of these things, or maybe a combination of these things in order to get what you want. Considerably, one of the biggest and most profound sacrifices you might undoubtedly need to make along that journey is changing who you are — for whom your “goal” needs you to become. Inarguably, many become blinded by the deceiving notion that they need to transform themselves into “ferocious beasts” in order to scare, devour and topple any competition while being unaware that they are slowly sliding down to a point of losing grip on their substance — the core value defining their humanity.

Having said that, I have one challenge for all of us: Don’t let slip the things you have that are real and substantive in the pursuit of success, most importantly so, in the pursuit of the ephemeral, the prospective, or the offhandedly promised.

This is not to say you should not be willing to set it all aside and go after something bigger or something better. But make sure you do it intelligently, and be aware of what you’re giving up, or might be giving up, when you do so, so you can make the best and most informed decision about which path you must  chose to take.

 

 

Redefining New Year’s Resolutions

 

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Our biology doesn’t recognize the season. Our body doesn’t know the difference between Valentines Day, Halloween or New Year’s Day

People’s desire to start fresh or to draw a line in the sand and step over the old and into the new has been around a long time. There’s nothing wrong with the desire to say this is my last year of illness, or I’m going to do whatever I value even better (my sport, school, job, art, passion). However,  if it’s unrealistic, too much too soon, or tied to an increased level of stress then it’s an invitation not to make the mark and to continue to chisel away at our self-esteem.

That’s often the case! We put unnecessary pressure, not only on ourselves but our body by shocking it into massive change.

Let’s pause and reflect instead. 

CHANGE is a Process

Sometimes our New Year’s resolutions seem as ridiculous as tucking in a newborn baby on December 31st and asking the baby to walk when they wake up the next morning, despite their inability to even hold their head up independently, sit, or crawl. We would never put such an impossible task on someone we love. So why then would we do it to ourselves? It’s because we aren’t gentle enough with ourselves. We put too much pressure on ourselves. We don’t treat ourselves with enough compassion. In fact, sometimes we are just downright mean to ourselves.

Perhaps on December 31st we could whisper softly to ourselves, much like to the new baby: “I can’t wait to watch you change and grow stronger over the next year. To witness your courage as you slowly stand back up, careful to regain your balance when you fall. I’ll be right here, ready to hold your hand.”

Let’s create awareness of how our goals are making us feel, I urge you  to join me as I flip my approach. This coming year, let’s begin a new ritual to redefine our resolutions by getting clear about how we wanted to feel, instead of what we could accomplish.

I will consider the following in making my New Year’s resolutions in order to improve my self-esteem, instead of tearing it down:

  • Set realistic goals.
  • Make my resolutions gradual and sustainable. Small changes rather than unsustainable drastic changes.
  • Remember that change is a process. Make it attainable, which is by far more helpful.
  • Slow down! Make room for subtle shifts which increase my chances of success.
  • Be careful not to add more angst than relief.

Let’s welcome the coming year 2017 with a redefined and fresher outlook! 🙂

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com

Your Word is your Bond

 

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Do you think before you make a promise to someone? What if you can’t deliver on your word? Does it really matter? The world isn’t going to come to an end, is it? Well, actually no, but have you considered . . .

Many people are pretty casual about making promises. As a result, promises are frequently made at the drop of a hat with no real intention of keeping them. “Let’s do lunch,” “I’ll call you later,” and “I’ll be there in five minutes” are all examples of throwaway promises that are frequently made but seldom kept. However, this casual attitude can have real consequences.Think about it — when someone else breaks a promise to you, or gets caught in a lie, doesn’t that make you feel violated or cheated?  You can’t help wondering whether you were wrong to ever trust that person.

There was a time when keeping your word held special significance. We took great pride in being of good character. Personal integrity was both expected and valued. That was a time when everyone knew each other’s family, and you wouldn’t do anything that would cast a shadow on your family’s good name. It was a time when integrity was instilled in children at a very early age and was viewed as instrumental in achieving success. The truth is, our world may have changed, but the importance of integrity has not. While we may not know everyone in our own town, the world is still smaller than you think. Create some bad news and you’ll learn this for yourself.

Every time you give your word, you’re putting your honor on the line. You’re implying that others can place their trust in you because you value integrity and would never let them down. It goes without saying that if you don’t live up to your word, you may end up tarnishing your credibility, damaging your relationships, and defaming your reputation. Most importantly, you’ll be letting yourself down.

But . . . when you operate with complete integrity, what you say will be taken at face value, your intentions will be assumed honorable, and your handshake will be as good as a contract. Most importantly, you can take great pride in the standards that you’ve set for yourself and sleep well at night knowing that your conscience is clear. As for others . . . just when they think they’re fooling the world, they’ll realize that they’re only fooling themselves. A promise is a promise after all.

What do you think? Are people too casual about making promises?

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com

 

 

 

 

Letting go of your dreams

Like most people, I often confuse myself between my wishes and my dreams — a wish is usually only a passing thought that most people never act on but a dream is something that captures your heart and spirit. It ignites your imagination and fills you with an unquenchable hope. It becomes something you can’t easily set aside.

Dreams consume your thinking and fuel your excitement and passion. It can happen in a single moment, or it can captivate your thoughts for years. Sometimes when the dream is really big, you embrace it, and somehow it feels like the dream embraces you.

Our dreams are often about experiencing a better life, about achieving greater things … they are pictures we have of the future that reveal a part of our lives that will be greater than the past.

But here’s an important point to consider – it takes courage to dream. Any time you dare to dream, there are risks involved. What if it never happens? What if it costs too much? What if people laugh at you?

Do you remember when you were a child and no dream seemed too big? Some of us thought we would walk on the moon; some dreamed of riding with Roy Rogers; others imagined stepping to the plate in a big-league game. Every one of us, when we were young, had a common trait – we were dreamers. The world hadn’t gotten to us yet to show us that we couldn’t possibly achieve what our hearts longed for. And we were yet still years from realizing that in some cases we weren’t built for achieving our dream.

Eventually we started to let our dreams die. People began to tell us that we couldn’t do the things we wanted. It was impossible. Responsible people don’t pursue their dreams. Settle down, get a job, be dependable. Take care of business, live the mundane, be content.

Is that it? Is that the way things work?

Dreams are worthy pursuits as long as they’re consistent with what matters most to us now. Our values evolve over time, and it’s OK to change our dreams to keep up with this evolution.

When you’re young, you want excitement and adventure. You want to prove yourself and make your loved ones proud. You dream big and work hard. As you age, you’ll probably desire more stability. You’ll seek quiet hours and relaxation. You’ll have a greater need for balance and have more concern for your health. You may also trade in some of your own ambition to support the success of your kids or family members.

These generalizations may not describe how your values will change. Change itself, however, is part of maturing. When you embrace it, you’ll open up to a world of new goals and possibilities.

So don’t be afraid to give up on old dreams to make room for new ones. You may not have the life you dreamed of as a child, but you might end up with one you can enjoy as an adult.

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com

Continue reading “Letting go of your dreams”

What my dogs taught me

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Animals of all kinds can bring us so much joy, not only when things are going well, but also when we feel pain and are suffering.

Are you an animal lover? I know I am. And although a penguin (and definitely a cute one indeed) is on my featured quote, I am and will always remain a dog lover at heart! Since I was a little child, these amiable canines which we knowingly call “man’s best friend” always have a special place in my heart. They’ve been part of my family and receive the same amount of love and affection as I give each of my human family members.  

Having said that, I would also want to stress that not just dogs but actually any of our beloved pets can be called “Man’s best friend”. Why? Because they remain true and faithful companions through thick and thin. We look to our pets when we are ready to play and laugh, and they instinctively know when we need their support. We all have struggles and challenges in life, and it’s during those times that our pets can really come in handy to help us find our joy.

I’ve had a dog most of my life. From purebreds to mutts, I’ve loved them all. It has always felt comforting to me to have a dog around. The joy dogs provide is well worth the effort you give to feed, groom and care for them.

As I’ve said earlier, we all experience struggles and challenges in our life, at times leaving us confused and disoriented, and at worst, dysfunctional. And when the challenges become really stressful for us to handle, we resort to professional help to find and regain our balance. And oftentimes we tend to forget that our counterpart “best friends” were just there, literally at our side, willing and happy to serve their purpose – to keep us company or be our companion.

Looking at my dog (named Yellow) and pondering at the memories of all the many others that came before her, and prompted by this Animal Series tag (special thanks to Liz C for the nomination to participate on this) I’ve realized three important life lessons from my relationships with them.

  1. Connect with others.

Our relationships with others nurture our soul. We may neglect our family and friends because of our work or other interests. We may just get busy and forget to stay in touch.

When we look to our dogs, they need our connection on a daily basis. They need our love, time, and attention. When we stay connected with others, it feeds our soul and helps to lead us to a strong and happy life.

  1. Live for today.

We can spend time regretting the past and worrying about the future, but I have learned that the solution will not be found that way. Spending my precious time thinking about things that I cannot change is not productive.

Dogs live for today—and so can we. We can appreciate every moment as it comes and be grateful for what we have. Like all animals, when we live in the present, we can have more enthusiasm, joy for life, and less worry.

  1. Make every day special.

Sometimes we can let days go by and get swallowed up in our routine. Every day is the same and our excitement is lacking.

Have you ever noticed how a dog finds everyday life exciting? They can’t wait to eat, go for their walk, see you come home, or greet a visitor. We can learn so much by observing how our pets have enthusiasm for the simple joys of everyday life.

Everyday can be special for us as well. When we take the time to look, we may find our joy is still there waiting to be rediscovered.

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To my awesome fellow bloggers!

Once again, I would like to thank the awesome Liz C for nominating me for the Animal Series tag-made me look at and see my Yellow in a different way -not just as a source of joy but also of inspiration! Here are pictures of her (my apologies, she’s so playful that’s why it’s so hard to get a good angle for a photo haha):

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Nominations:

  1. Pranitha
  2. Clarissa
  3. Nina
  4. Dee Gratitude
  5. Jown/Joan

The Rules Are

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Pick an animal and explain why they are a source of inspiration to you, and how their character can be used to motivate.
  3. Nominate at least 3 other bloggers, to share the positivity!

 

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com